Oklahoma Law School 1L Study Guide for Torts


Torts, as a practical and theoretical field of law, focuses on civil wrongs, excluding breach of contract. This comprehensive study guide aims to provide an overview of Torts as taught in the Oklahoma Law School for the 1L year, focusing on the key concepts, notable case laws, and applicable rules.


A. Battery: An intentional and harmful or offensive contact with another person without consent.

Case: White v. Muniz, 999 P.2d 814 (Colo. 2000): The court used the IRAC method to conclude that the defendant’s act of biting the plaintiff was intentional, harmful, and without consent, constituting a battery.

B. Assault: An intentional act causing another person to fear imminent harmful or offensive contact.

Case: Ranson v. Kitner, 31 Ill. 241 (1863): The court held that the defendant’s action of shooting the plaintiff’s dog, thinking it was a wolf, constituted an assault.

C. False Imprisonment: Intentionally confining another person within fixed boundaries without legal justification.

Case: Enright v. Groves, 560 P.2d 851 (Colo. Ct. App. 1976): The defendant’s act of locking the plaintiff in his office without justification constituted false imprisonment.

D. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED): Intentionally or recklessly causing severe emotional distress to another by extreme or outrageous conduct.

Case: Wilkerson v. Allen, 395 N.W.2d 493 (Mich. Ct. App. 1986): The court held that the defendant’s act of firing the plaintiff due to her weight constituted IIED.


Negligence is the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation.

A. Duty: The obligation to conform to a standard of reasonable care.

Case: Ajayi v. Aramark Business Services, 336 F.3d 520 (7th Cir. 2003): The court held that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to maintain safe premises.

B. Breach: The failure to conform to the required standard.

Case: Haley v. Brown, 57 P.3d 106 (Okla. 2002): The court held that the defendant, a doctor, breached his duty to the plaintiff, his patient, by not obtaining informed consent.

C. Causation: The act or omission must be the cause in fact and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm.

Case: Moning v. Alfono, 254 N.W.2d 759 (Mich. 1977): The court held that the defendant was the cause in fact and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

D. Damages: The plaintiff must have suffered some harm.

Case: Bowers v. Ottenad, 971 P.2d 564 (Okla. Civ. App. 1998): The plaintiff must show actual harm or injury to recover damages.


Strict liability applies when defendants are held responsible for harm without regard to negligence or intent to harm.

Case: Kopp v. Rechtzigel, 273 N.W.2d 538 (Minn. 1978): The court held that the defendant, an owner of a dangerous animal, was strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.


Oklahoma law recognizes three types of defects that could lead to manufacturer or seller liability: manufacturing defects, design defects, and warning defects.

Case: Kirkland v. General Motors Corp., 521 P.2d 1353 (Okla. 1974): The court held that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries due to a defect in the car’s design.


Defamation includes any intentional false communication that harms a person’s reputation.

Case: Gaylord Entertainment Co. v. Thompson, 958 P.2d 128 (Okla. 1998): The court held that the defendant’s false statements about the plaintiff constituted defamation.


Nuisance is a condition that interferes with the use or enjoyment of property.

Case: Kloberdanz v. Joy, 288 P.3d 589 (Colo. Ct. App. 2012): The court held that the defendant’s act of running a commercial pet boarding facility constituted a nuisance.

Remember, understanding each concept in detail and reviewing important case laws regularly will help you excel in your Torts course and Oklahoma law.

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